CLG has recently announced that it’s abandoning it’s Overwatch team in light of the Overwatch League. Once the team announcements for OWL started it became a matter of time before teams had to get funding for an OWL spot for season one, disband, or try and hold onto their players and negotiate for a season two spot. Let’s explore why CLG may have chosen to close it’s doors.
Philadelphia was always a prime choice for Overwatch League. Living halfway between New York and Philly, I can tell you that this area is spilling over with competition. Whether it is the Eagles/Giants or the Islanders/Flyers/Rangers/Devils few people joke about sports. The Flyers organization are the ones who bought into the Overwatch League.
OpTic Gaming Takes the Houston Spot in OWL
OpTic Gaming has a rich history in esports. Their teams have been around a long time and CEO Hector Rodriguez continues to steer the team with confidence. OpTic moves into the Houston spot for the Overwatch League becoming a clear rival of Team EnVyUs in Dallas. This Texas tradition of sports rivalries goes far back.
The Overwatch League has begun its full assault into the esports world with their announcements today. First 3 teams have been finalized for the Inaugural Season One which will take place in Los Angeles. Now the start dates have been announced. It looks like Blizzard will host the season from January 10th all the way through June with a summer playoffs and finals coming in July. This solid six month season gives the opportunity for many games and matches between the initial twelve teams. Here is our speculation on how the season might break down.
Here is the press release outlining all the information on the Overwatch League update. With three teams added in for Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia it is great to see that preseason will begin at the end of the year. December 6th begins the matches in Los Angeles. Read below as we continue to bring you as much coverage as we can on all these announcements.
September 20, 2017—The stage is now set for the inaugural season of the Overwatch League™. Teams for Dallas, Houston, and Philadelphia have signed on, bringing the total for the first season to the targeted 12 franchises representing major cities in Asia, Europe, and North America. The new team owners announced today are:
- Comcast Spectacor (Philadelphia), leader in sports and entertainment and owner of the Philadelphia Flyers
- Team Envy (Dallas), veteran esports organization with experience across multiple genres
- OpTic Gaming (Houston), established esports organization known for its passionate global fan base
Mike Rufail, owner of Team EnVyUs posted on his twitter today to announce that the speculation over them receiving funding and securing the Dallas Overwatch League spot is in fact true. While he did not confirm that the funding received was indeed $35 million he did say they had received multi 8 figure investment, which leads us to believe the rumored number to be accurate.
Is Disney primed to be a major player in the Overwatch League? Our guess is absolutely! Disney XD is a channel geared to a younger hardcore audience. This weekend they began broadcasting reruns of the Overwatch World Cup series with their first episode of Shanghai. So we’re going to build out a landscape for you in terms of why a Disney and Blizzard partnership makes sense and how we are seeing the early stages of it already. Did we mention Disney owns ESPN?
Blizzard has a few important decisions to make about how they should do an Overwatch League Broadcast. Blizzard has amassed a lot of talent with DoA and MonteCristo being hired away from Riot. They also have assembled a casting crew for the Overwatch League World Cup to supplement them. That said, perhaps the most ambitious goal for the league has to do with their growth expectations. To meet those expectations they’re going to have to amass fans who are currently not watching professional Overwatch.
One of the big questions about Overwatch as an esport has always been how best to view the game. This year, reports show that a Spectator Mode may be released at this year’s BlizzCon. From the start of the World Cup and as more leagues like Contenders and APEX grow quickly, all the viewers will eventually feed into the Overwatch League. The hardcore audience is used to viewing in first person mode, but what about the rest of the world?
Today is September 14th. We have about 7 weeks until BlizzCon. The player signing window closes at the end of October which means teams will have a full week to prepare for getting their announcements ready. Here are our top five predictions on what we think you can expect from the Overwatch League at BlizzCon this year:
- Season 1 Schedule
Everyone knows that Season One will be played in L.A. at the newly formed Blizzard Arena. The big question is, no one knows when it will start? Blizzard had said last year that this league would begin in 2017. Now they have to deliver on that expectation. So, how do they do it? Well, many of the chips are in place for Season One to start. Our guess is that the schedule will launch in either December or January of 2018. Think of it from a viewing perspective. The winter months are ideal for watching esports at home. Many people especially in the Northeast are indoors and you’ll have a solid few months to build up fandom. So, the schedule will be announced at BlizzCon and well, it may just start right away.